TelevisionWell, at least this is one of the reasons…the many, many reasons.  Oh, and this is a reason too.

I remember the good ol’ days when there was the Hitler channel otherwise known as A&E, when TLC stood for The LEARNING Channel, and when Spike TV was TNN or The Nashville Network.  OK, so I never actually watched TNN…like ever, but I always imagined it was episodes of Hee-Haw and Dukes of Hazzard on continuous loop.  Nowadays we have a plurality of channel selections with an education bent such as The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, The National Geographic Channel, History International…well, the list goes on and you get the point.  Hooray for variety!

The problem with the new spate of educational channels is that they’re not actually educational.  I mean, look at the program lineup for The History Channel.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.  Go ahead…

OK, I’ll tell you what I’m seeing today.

  • Modern Marvels: Mega Meals
  • All You Can Eat
  • Pawn Stars
  • Angels and Demons Decoded

Oh, don’t worry if you’re thinking there’s no ACTUAL history on The History Channel.  They’ve got your covered with Sex in the Civil War and More Sex in the Civil War.  Better Tivo that for the kids!

Television channels are becoming a series of misnomers: The History Channel no longer has history, there’s not much to discover on the Discovery Channel, I can’t remember the last time I saw a music video on MTV.  But what makes me especially sad is that the plurality of television with its 50,000 channels and its digital programming and so forth is not actually a plurality at all.  All programming on television has become composed of different versions of the same thing, different shades of the same color.

Not that I watch that much television to begin with.  I don’t, but when I do, I like to think I have options: curl up to a good documentary, watch a good movie, perhaps learn a thing or two in the process.  Instead what I’ve got is Sex in the Civil War and Cops.  Thanks TV guys!  Fuck you very much.  It makes me long for those heady days when all I saw when I flipped to A&E was some Hitler documentary.  I miss those now.

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